I’ve long loved the canal. As a London-dweller, I’d walk from Ladbroke Grove to Camden along the water. When I moved back to the Midlands, the development of Birmingham canal with restaurants and bars galore was a lively contrast to the more rural pleasures of the Grand Union Canal. I prefer the latter, as there’s so much wonderful wildlife, though it’s fun watching the birds and boats on the canal while sipping a drink in a more urban development.
This weekend is the Crick Boat Show. Sadly, I won’t be going but if you aspire to a life on the waterways, fancy trying your hand at traditional ‘roses and castles’ painting or want to view the canal from a boat, it looks like a great event. However, if you can’t make it to Crick, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the canal this weekend.
- Go on a waterfowl safari and see how many birds you can spot.
- Exercise in nature by cycling, jogging or walking along the canal.
- Count how many different types of wildflower you can find.
- Forage for elderflowers to make elderflower champagne.
- Go litter picking and help protect local wildlife. Take a fishing net to scoop rubbish from the water.
- Feed the birds (with oats or bird seeds, not bread).
- Scatter native wildflower seeds on the canal banks to help make pollinators happy.
- Look for boat names as the canal boats pass: they can be witty and warming (and make me wonder about the stories behind them).
- See how many different types of bee you can identify along the canal banks. There are around 250 species – can you find them all over the summer?
- Photograph the reflections in the canal.